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         Volume 11 |Issue 10| March 09, 2012 |


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Distant Ripples Touch the Shores of Sanity


I do not partake in today's discussion to beat my own drums, although one has little choice, as there is big suspicion these days if you beat that of others. Naughty people term it as 'oiling'. Moreover, a person's drum is a private matter depending on its location, and you could easily offend someone, or be offended if slapped in response to daring to go too private.

The fact is I am heartened to see that this 2012 ekushey the government and the judiciary, as well as some others, taking a laudable stance against the rape of Bangla by a section of our media about which I was chintito many moons ago; in fact not even in the month of February but in October 2007. You may wish to visit the Star on the web and read 'Not much foorti on radio today'.

I lift partly from that four and half year old installment and modify because we are that much older:

It is all right and perhaps fun too if several radio comperes have the similar unmistakable singsong intonation so that we cannot even identify a station. But it is silly for all of them competing with each other on their acquired happy-don't-care attitude, and a highly Banglicised (Bangla+Anglo) accent promoting topics that are only skin deep.

Radio is such a powerful tool. Do they the listeners and those who phone in not deserve to discuss the more serious pursuits of life in proper Bangla? The future? Career? Family life? Social behaviour? Our War of Liberation? Our heroes of the day? Their heroics? Our upcoming talents? Energy issues? Health? Mother and child? The economy? How the young of today, the very target group it seems of these radio stations, shall tomorrow lead this nation?

Now it is all very easy, almost escapist, to say that there are other forums to reflect on and talk about such matters. The point is a radio station cannot be twenty-four hours exclusively wasted on fun and frolic. There is more to life than entertainment, for even amusement requires the backing of a sound health and a solid economy. Moreover, there should be an effort to quench the thirst of an array of listeners of different age groups and taste.

To further the slow damage of our youth, some of these radio stations have a bizarre fascination for alien songs, Hindi, Urdu, English, you name it. Arrey Bhai! This is a radio station broadcasting from Dhaka. While applying for a government permit they must have committed to herald the culture of this timeless nation. They should have been granted the right to broadcast in this country based on their resolve to represent Bangladesh in mind, body and soul, in politics and culture, in news and views. One wonders the basis of their audacity and wisdom in ushering in quite unnecessarily tu agar kabhi bhi jaye...

If our local TV channels, so many of them, can successfully run for years, and flourish, without the aid of their bideshi counterparts, then why should these radios have to rely so much on hum-tum, and idhar-udhar? Can you imagine one single radio station in any of the SAARC countries, despite the brotherhood, to be even intermittently playing Bangla songs of Bangladeshi artistes? Unthinkable, tai na! And here, a radio station does it as if they were broadcasting from the roof top of some town in Maharashtra or a cave in NWFP. This is not on.

Foorti or not foorti, today or tomorrow, radio or TV, there is no reason whatsoever to play alien songs as a routine on our local radio stations. That is not why this nation has sacrificed so much for so long. That is not why the government of Bangladesh granted the broadcasting license. This is the time to rectify. Please.

May I conclude by quoting a recent DS news report? The High Court in a suo moto rule (16 February 2012) directed the radio and television channels authorities not to use distorted Bangla or foreign languages in Bangla broadcasts. The order came following Prof Syed Manzurul Islam's "Bhasha dushon nodi dushoner motoi biddhongshi (language distortion is as devastating as river pollution)," published in the (16 Feb) Bangla daily Prothom Alo….the HC bench also issued a rule upon the government to explain why it should not be directed to take necessary steps against the distortion of Bangla language or use of foreign languages in Bangla programmes on the radio and TV channels. Besides, the court asked the government to explain why it should not be ordered to take legal action against those responsible for distorting the mother language and to cancel the licenses of the radio and TV channels airing such programmes.

I am humbled, for the ripples caused by the drumbeats of 2007 against the distortion of our mother tongue by a section of the media have finally touched the shores of sanity. Joy Bangla!


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